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WINS Program Offers Life-Changing Experience to Mid-Career Women

Meet Angie Asmus, a WINS participant and manager of network and security operations at Colorado State University. She started at SCinet on the Edge Networking Team at SC16 and worked her way up to becoming the Edge Team Chair. At SC23, she will be the SCinet Deputy Chair, and at SC24 she will be SCinet Chair.

A Winning Program

“With WINS, women gain hands-on experience building a network from the ground up. You also gain a whole new family and an extensive new professional network that is happy to support you at SCinet and welcomes questions and collaboration.”

Angie Asmus

Colorado State University

Q: What is WINS, and how have you been involved over the years? 

Asmus: WINS stands for Women in IT Networking at SC. It is an NSF-funded grant and receives funding from the Department of Energy to ESnet. The program was developed to address the gender gap in IT, specifically in the networking and high-performance computing fields. The original PIs on the grant were Marla Meehl of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and Wendy Huntoon of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), both women who WINS participants respect and view as mentors. ESnet, KINBER, and UCAR collaboratively manage the program. 

WINS began as a pilot program in 2015. Since then, each year, WINS has funded 5–8 early- to mid-career women to attend the SC conference and participate in SCinet. WINS funds travel and expenses for these women and provides mentoring and support both at SCinet and year-round.

Q: What is SCinet, and how does WINS help SCinet accomplish its goals?

Asmus: SCinet is the fastest, most powerful volunteer-built network that is built for the SC conference. A group of about 200 volunteers works throughout the year to plan, design, and build this powerful network. Diversity is always a goal of the SC conference and SCinet, and partnering with the WINS program has given SCinet a pathway to build a more diverse group of volunteers. Specifically, SCinet has been able to include more women on its teams – since WINS began, the number of women participating in SCinet has grown immensely, as has the number of women in leadership positions. 

Q: How has WINS been valuable to you? Where did you start, and where are you headed?

Asmus: WINS and SCinet have been pivotal in my career. I like to say I am where I am today in my career because of WINS and my experience at SCinet. When I applied to the WINS program, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had worked in IT for about 17 years and still didn’t have a direction or know what I wanted to do. WINS and SCinet have provided me with so many great experiences, from being involved in building a network from the ground up, to professional development opportunities, public speaking opportunities, management experience, and a professional network that I have reached out to for help and advice on projects that I am working on at my home institution.

Q: A significant WINS deadline is approaching. What is it, and why is it important?

Asmus: The application period for the WINS program closes on January 27, 2023. Get your applications in; it is an experience you don’t want to miss out on. It is essential to have support from your home institution also.

Q: Why should someone apply for the WINS program?

Asmus: I would encourage all women interested in participating in SCinet to apply for WINS. I would guess that most of us who have been WINS participants say it is life-changing and catapulted our careers. It has given us great experience and made us more valuable to our employers. 

Q: Why is WINS valuable to an employer?

Asmus: Employer support of women employees applying for WINS and participating in SCinet is very important. It not only shows your employees that you are invested in their success, but also allows them to feel supported. Past WINS participants have all grown in their careers and a lot of their growth can be attributed to WINS and SCinet. Women come back from their participation more confident, with better technical skills and familiarity with the R&E and HPC worlds. 

Q: What can a WINS participant expect to experience?

Asmus: WINS awardees will be awarded travel and expenses to be able to attend SC and participate in SCinet for 3 weeks in October/November. It is an immersive experience, building a network from the ground up. It is hands-on experience that is hard to come by in your daily work. But more than that, WINS participants will gain a new SCinet family and expanded professional network. It’s about more than justSCinet – you will gain mentorship and friendships both from WINS and SCinet that continue long after attending the conference.


Learn More & Apply

Complete an application for WINS via the link on their website. Applications close January 27, 2023.

If you have questions about WINS applications, please contact the WINS management team.

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